Thecus N5550 NAS Storage Server

thecus-n5550-angle

The Thecus N5550 5-bay NAS (shown above), looks very much like the N5500 that came out in 2009, but don't let the looks fool you. With front with the door closed, the N5550 and N5500 look almost identical, with the only exception being the logo on the front of the unit. Once you open the door and start looking around, you'll begin seeing that the new N5550 has hard a major hardware update. On thh front panel you'll see that there is now a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port and on the back of the NAS you'll find audio and HDMI ports. Thecus didn't stop there though as this unit is powered by an Intel Atom platform (Cedarview) with 2GB of DDR3 memory and an updated operating system. The best part is that the MSRP of the Thecus N5550 is $599.99 and the street price is just $439.00 shipped. The Thecus N5500 had an MSRP of $869 when it came out just three years ago! With all the hardware and software beefed up and the price slashed in half, this should be an interesting product to review!

The Thecus N550 is aimed at home and small business users that are looking for an affordable storage solution for their network. The Intel Atom D2700 processor and 2GB of memory make it one of the most powerful units on the market and one of the lowest priced. Having features like USB 3.0, HDMI video output and 2GB of memory really help the Thecus N5550 stand out from the crowd.

You can find the hardware and software features out below and we'll jump straight to unboxing the NAS on the next page!

 

Thecus N5550 Hardware Platform

Item Spec
Processor Intel Atom D2700 Processor
System Memory 2GB DDR3
LAN Interface RJ-45x2: 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X
WOL supported
USB Interface USB 2.0 host port x4 (back x4)
USB 3.0 host port x1 (front x1)
LCM Module LCM display
4 buttons (ENTER, ESC, UP, DOWN)
SATA DOM 1GB
HDMI Output HDMI port (back x1)
VGA Output VGA port (back x1)
Audio MIC input, Line input, Audio output
Disk Interface 5 x SATA for internal
1 x eSATA for external
Power Supply 200W Power Supply
USB UPS Supported
Thermal/Fan control Thermal sensor on processor temperature
System FAN speed controlled by temperature
System Clock Battery-backed up system clock
Power Management Auto power on after shutdown due to power loss
Buzzer Adjustable frequency alarm
Buttons Power button
LCM button
Environment Temperature: 5°C to 40°C
Humidity: 0 ~ 80 % R.H. (Non-condensing)
Chassis Tower Metal Chassis
Dimensions (HxWxD) 230 x 190 x 240 (mm)
Certificates CE/FCC/C-Tick/VCCI/BSMI
RoHS
WEEE
VMware, Citrix


Thecus N5550 Software Functions

RAID
RAID Modes RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and JBOD
Auto-rebuild Supported
Hot-swap Supported
Hot Spare Supported
Online RAID Migration Supported
Online RAID Expansion Supported
RAID Volume Encryption AES256bit
Disk
Power Management Available spin-down on idle setting
Bad Block Scanning Supported
SMART Info Supported
SMART Test Supported
Disk Roaming Supports volume-based roaming to other Thecus NAS
Network
Configuration Fixed IP address, dynamic IP address
Transport Protocols TCP/IP/AppleTalk
File Protocols SMB/CIFS, HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, NFS v4, AFP
Link Aggregation Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB
TCP/IP IPV6 & IPV4
DDNS Supported
SSH Supported
UPnP Supported
UPnP Port forwarding Supported
System status
System Monitor Monitoring CPU, memory, temperature, fan, network utilization and protocols access user count
Syslog Management Send syslog to assigned location
Act as syslog server to receive log info from other systems
Data Access
Client OS Support Windows 8/7/Vista/2003/XP/2000
UNIX/Linux
Mac OS X
FTP Built-in FTP server with bandwidth control
Secure FTP Built-in secure FTP server with bandwidth control
TFTP Users can download and upload files with TFTP programs
Download Manager BT download (via Transmission module)
NZB download (via NZB module)
Printer Server (IPP) Supports USB printers
Supports a wide range of IPP printers
Client can manage print tasks  (list/delete) via web user interface
Data Backup
Client Incremental Data Backup Acronis True Image (OEM version)
Client System Disaster Recovery Acronis True Image (OEM version)
Client Side Backup Software Thecus Backup Utility (Windows/Mac OS X)
Data Burn Create files to ISO image and burn to optical disc
Create files to ISO image
Read ISO image from optical disc and write to NAS
Mac OS X Time Machine Supported
Data Guard Remote Backup/Local Backup
Block Level Access
iSCSI Target/Initiator Supports Microsoft/Mac OS X/Linux initiators and Thecus NAS targets
iSCSI Thin Provisioning Supported
MPIO Supported
MCS Supported
Clustering Supported
SCSI3 Persistent Group Reservation Supported
Power Management
Scheduled Power On/Off Supported
Volume Management
Multiple RAID Supported
Multiple File System Selectable EXT3/EXT4/XFS
Multimedia Support
iTunes Server Supports AAC, MP3 w/ID3 tag and WAV
Piczza!™ Photo Server (via module) Supports GIF, JPG (JPEG), BMP and PNG
Supports EXIF display
Supports slide shows
Media Server Supports uPnP AV streaming protocol (via Twonkymedia module)
User Authentication
Local User Supports built-in user accounts
Local Group Supports built-in user groups
Windows ADS Supported
LDAP Supported
Access Guard Supports Black & White list/IP Filter
Cloud Backup
DropBox Supported (via module) 
ElephantDriver Supported (via module) 
Amazon S3 Supported
File System
Type Journaling File System  
Language Support Unicode Support
Authorization (ACL) “Read”, “write”, or “deny” privileges to individual users or groups in folders and sub-folders
User Quota Supported
Administration
User Interface Web-based user interface supports English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Czech.
Utility Program MS Windows Setup Wizard
Supports Windows 8/7/Vista/2003/XP/2000
Mac OS X Setup Wizard
Email Notifications Sends system messages via email to the system administrator
SNMP Trap System information trap out
Mobile Applications (iOS/Android)
Thecus Dashboard Mobile monitoring and administration (via module)
T-OnTheGo™ (iOS) Upload, download and stream multimedia
Data Security
Virus Scan Supports McAfee (via module)
Capacity Expansion
Stackable Can extend for 5 additional iSCSI volumes from other Thecus NAS
Others
Recycle Bin Supported
Web Disk Supported (via module)
Web Server Supported (via module)
ISO Mount Supported
IP Cam Surveillance Supports up to 5 IP cameras (via module)
Auto Module Installation Thecus’ module server automatically provides the latest modules and updates through the user interface.
Local Display X-Window via HDMI output

Unboxing the Thecus N5500

 

thecus-n5550-box

The N5500 comes in a very sturdy cardboard box that has just a sticker on the front of it that shows an image of the NAS device and some of the key features.  Since most of these servers are being sold online, a full color print job on the box is a waste and this packaging feels eco-friendly. 

thecus-n5550-box2

The Thecus N5550 retail box is about as basic as they come, so no sense in showing all the sides! Let's crack this package open!

thecus-n5550-inside

Opening the box the N5500 is protected by a pair of sturdy foam inserts. The N5500 unit is wrapped in plastic and the accessories are packaged in a bag above the NAS.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS accessories packed

The NAS itself is in a large plastic bag and once you remove that there is an additional layer of plastic film protecting the front LCD panel.

Thecus N5550 Bundle

The Thecus N5550 comes with a quick installation guide, warranty card and three software disks. On the disks you'll find Acronis True Image 2010, Twonky Media Server and a disk with a full users manual. You also get a 6-foot long blue Ethernet cable, screws for installing drives, keys for locking the drive sleds and a power cable for your region.

Outside The Thecus N5550

Thecus N5550 NAS Server

The Thecus N5550 NAS box might look familiar and that is because Thecus has been keeping the appearance of their devices the same over the past several years and just updating the guts.  This enclosure is made from metal and measures in at 230 x 190 x 240 (mm), which makes it small enough to be placed on a shelf or out of the way. The N5550 is entirely black and has a clean look to make sure it doesn't get dated as the years go by.

thecus-n5550-front

The front panel buttons are easily accessible with the front door closed, but you have to open the door if you want to turn on or resest the N5550.

thecus-n5550-door

To open the door you push on it and it pops open. The bay door mesh is not easily removable, but you can easily blow compressed air back through it to remove any dust that builds up over the months/years ahead. Each of the drive caddies have a key lock on them to prevent the drive from easily walking off. One thing that needs to be pointe out is that you have to open the door in order to access the front USB 3.0 port and to access any of the five drive bays, which is a major hassle.

thecus-n5550-display

 Down the left side of the drive bays are the five activity LEDs, front USB 3.0 port, power and reset buttons. The status display panel is nice as when the NAS is in use it tells you in the RAID array is good and other useful information.

thecus-n5550-back

On the back of the unit we can see the rear 92mm exhaust fan, 200 Watt power supply, and rear I/O panel. The I/O panel has four USB2 Type A host ports, one eSATA port, audio ports (microphone, line in, line out), HDMI & VGA video ports and lastly the dual gigabit LAN ports.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS feet

The bottom has four rubber stick on feet, one in each corner that are held on by glue.

Inside The Thecus N5550

 

thecus-n5550-mainboard

By undoing 3 thumbscrews on the back of the unit, the top slides off. On the left side of the N5500 is the motherboard and that is what the image above is showing.  The heart of the Thecus N5550 is the Intel Atom D2700 Processor that runs at 2.13GHz. This is a powerful processor for a NAS and notice that the CPU cooler is fanless.

n5550-ddr3-memory

The Thecus N5550 has two 240-pin DDR3 SO-DIMM slots, but just one is occupied by a Transcend 2GB DDR3 1333MHz memory module with CL9 timings. Having 2GB of memory on a home NAS is pretty rare, so with this much RAM and an Intel Atom processor, the Thecus N5550 should be a solid performing unit!

Thecus N5550 MDS Module

The Thecus has a single DOM module installed that has 1GB of Samsung NAND Flash memory on it for the OS. To the left of the single DOM there is an mSATA slot, which isn't mentioned on the Thecus site. It appears to be disabled in the BIOS, but Thecus was obviously trying to use this board as a Windows Home Server at some point in the development phase and then decided not to.

 Silicon Image SiI 3132

When it comes to the drive controllers Thecus is using the Intel 82801JI SATA AHCI controller (ICH10 Family) as well as the Silicon Image SiI 3132 SATA II RAID controller. The SiI 312 RAID controller and the Realtek ALC262 audio controller can be seen in the image above. The SuperSpeed USB 3.0 front panel port is handled by a third party NEC D720200AF controller and is not native to the Intel chipset.

 intel-nic

The dual gigabit LAN ports both use Intel 82574L Gigabit Ethernet controllers.

Thecus N5550 120mm Case Fan

The back of the unit holds the rear 92mm exhaust fan with a standard 3pin connector. Thecus is using an ADDA Model AD0912MX-A76GL fan on the N5550 NAS. This fan uses Hypro bearings and is not the quietest fan by any means. It spins at roughly 2000 RPM and has a noise rating of 23.5dBA, but is sounds much louder. If you plan on putting the Thecus N5550 in a room that is quiet, you should plan ahead and buy a quieter fan (Think Noctua or equlivant). 

sata-board

Here is a look at the hard drive backplane and as you can tell the Thecus N5550 only works with 2.5" and 3.5" SATA drives. This backplane will not work with SAS hard drives.

power-cable

The power supply plugs straight into the backplane and not the motherboard, which is a bit interesting. The Power supply uses a typical ATX 24-pin power connector, so nothing super special. Let's get to installing some drives and building a RAID array!

Test System & Drive Setup

Before we look at the numbers, here is a brief glance at the test system that was used. All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.

Intel Z77 Test Platform

Bottom 140mm cooling fan

The Intel Z77 platform that we used to test the WD My Passport Edge portable hard drive was running the ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe motherboard with BIOS 0607 that came out on 7/27/2012. The Corsair Vengeance 16GB 1866MHz memory kit was set to 1866MHz with 1.5v and 9-10-9-27 1T memory timings. Intel HD Graphics 4000 were used with driver 2875.

When we did NAS testing we used the Thecus N5550 NAS Server with firmware v 2.03.08. A Netgear WNDR4500 N900 wireless router was used that supports gigabit ethernet.

testsettings_550

Intel Test Platform

Component

Brand/Model

Live Pricing

Processor

Intel Core i7-3770K

Motherboard

ASUS P8Z77-I Click Here

Memory

16GB Corsair Vengeance Click Here

Video Card

Intel HD 4000

Click Here

Hard Drive

Kingston HyperX 480GB

Click Here

Cooling

CoolIt Eco II 140mm

Click Here

Power Supply

Corsair AX650 Gold

Click Here

Operating System

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit

Click Here

Detailed HDD Information with HD Tune Pro 5.00:

hdtune info on WD Red 

The drive we are testing uses firmware version 80.00A80.

capacity

The WD Red 3TB drive has 2.72TB available to the user in Windows. The reason that the drive isn't exactly 3TB is due to the change in measure from GB (1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes) to GiB (1GiB = 1,073,741,824). Let's build a RAID Array!

Building the RAID, User and Share Setup

 networklocation_550

Setting up the Thecus N5550 5-Bay NAS is very easy to do. There is a disk that comes with the NAS that has a setup wizard on it, but we skipped that and did the installation on our own. All you really need to do is install the ethernet cable and plug in the power cord before turning the device on.  Once you fire it up, the Thecus N5550 defaults to a local network address of 192.168.1.100 and you can login with the Admin account with the default password of 'admin'. You should check for firmware updates before proceeding any further.

homemenu_550

Once you login you'll find a fairly easy user interface that will allow you to do hundreds of different things. There are so many features of the ThecusOS that we won't even try to cover them all.  The Thecus user manual is 198 pages long and does a fairly good job covering the interface, so if you want to know more you can download there here. We are just going to show you how to build the RAID array and to do that you just need to go to RAID Management. Once you are in RAID Management you just need to click on the 'Create' button and just complete the six steps required.

drivesetup_550

When you start the RAID setup you are presented with a list of your drives. You could make multiple RAID volumes or leave some as a standalone disk for a hot spare. Depending on how many drives you have and what RAID configuration you want, it will impact what RAID level you can pick from on the next step.

It should be noted that you can create multiple RAID arrays, but you can only do them one at a time.

drivesetup2_550

The second step allows you to select the type of RAID you want. The Thecus N5550 supports six different types: 

The defacto RAID type is RAID 5 as it will allow you to lose one drive and not any data. Many experts are now saying that RAID 5 is not the way to go. Hard Drives have a 3% chance of failing in the first three years of drive life, and then after that the failure rate starts rising. With five brand new drives you have a ~15% chance (3% x 5 drives) that something will fail. If one drive went down in a 5x 3TB RAID 5 setup, you have four 3TB drives left and will have to rebuild the cripled array once you get a new drive. What could happen during the rebuild is that the RAID controller will see an unrecoverable read error (URE) or two on the other drives that are needed to rebuild the data on the new drive. SATA Hard Drives have a URE rate of once every 100,000,000,000,000 bits, which sounds like a small, but that is once ever 11.4TB! Since we are using five 3TB drives we will have 15TB and that means we will likely have at least one URE. So, with a RAID 5 array that has one drive fail and a URE on a used part of the drive will usually result in a RAID array that can't be rebuilt. The last error you want to see on a NAS is that your RAID volume can't be built. With disk drive capacities increasing to 4TB and beyond in 2012 it will make running RAID 5 very risky. Most people don't want to backup a NAS, so be sure to run the right RAID type! (RAID 6 is recommeneded by many experts as it uses two parity blocks and not one like RAID 5.)

That said, we'll be testing the Thecus N5550 in RAID 5 with 1 spare disk and then with RAID 6 with no spare disk.

drivesetup3_550

In step 3 you pick if you want the RAID volume encrypted and what you want the volume name to be.

drivesetup4_550

In step 4 you can set the volume stripe size and the file format. The default size is 64kb and file system of EXT4. We bumped our stripe size up to 128KB.

drivesetup5_550

Step 5 is a review of all the settings you have configured. If you want to change something you can by backing up to that step.

drivesetup6_550

And the 6th and final step is the ever important “are you sure" step when dealing with drive formatting.

raidcomplete_550

The system takes many hours to create the raid volume if you don't do a quick build, so be sure to run it and walk away. When it is done formatting it should say 'healthy' in the status box here.

Now we need to add a user. Do this by clicking on the Local User Configuration icon on the home screen.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS Local User Configuration

In the Local User Configuration is where the list of users would be; since I have not added any yet the list is empty. To add all you need to do is click the Add button.

usersetup_550 

Fill in the blanks and click apply. You will get a pop up that states the addition was successful.

homemenu_550

The next step is to set up a share folder, which you can do by clicking the 'share folders' icon on the home menu.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS share folders

You will then see a list of folders on the system. These are the system generated folders for features like the USB copy and iTunes. To create a folder you need to click the Add button to start the wizard. We created a folder called 'Testing'.

Thecus N5500 5 bay NAS ACL

Since we didn't make the Testing share public we need to assign users access to it. Do this by highlighting the share folder and clicking the ACL button at the top right. Then you pick the user's name on the left and then the Add or Remove icon for the appropriate level of access for that user or group. The access rights can only be set to the root share folder, and cannot be changed for the subfolders in it.

mapping_550

You can then go to the computers in your network and 'map a new network drive' by right clicking on network and assinging a drive letter to a folder on the Thecus N5550 for easy access to the NAS.

Now that we have set up the RAID array, user access, shared a folder and mapped the drive, we can get on to testing!

RAID 5 Benchmarking

3tb-nas-drives

The WD Red Hard Drive Series was designed to be used in a NAS server, so we used five 3TB WD Red hard drives for testing the Thecus N5550 NAS Server! This NAS uses an Intel Atom processor along with 2GB of DDR3 memory, so it is pretty beefy and ideal for small business or home use, which is what the WD Red drives are designed for as well.

RAID 5 Benchmarks:

The drives were setup as a RAID 5 array with a 128KB stripe and we left 1 disk for a spare. RAID 5 uses block-level striping with parity data distributed across all member disks. This is a pretty common setup and realistic of what someone buying these drives would do. This left us with 8318 GB of available storage space. Let's get on to the benchmarks!

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was performed with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.

atto-nas

The Thecus N5550 with the Western Digital Red 3TB drives was able to hit a max of 107MB/s read and 117MB/s write.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

Crystal Disk Mark Results

With Crystal Disk Mark the sequential read and writes topped out at 55.4 MB/s read, and 104.5MB/s write.

Intel NAS Performance Toolkit Exerciser

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable performance comparisons between network attached storage (NAS) devices. Intel NASPT focuses on user level performance using real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications such as HD video playback and record, data backup and restore utilities, office productivity applications, video rendering/content creation and more. Intel NASPT reproduces the file system traffic observed in these traces onto whatever storage solution the user provides, records the system response, and reports a rich variety of performance information. The end result is readily comparable performance measurements that are useful to developers as well as intuitive and compelling to consumers. The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is one of the only benchmarks that was designed from the ground up just to measure NAS performance. The benchmark tests 18 different test scenarios to give you a great overall idea of how the NAS performs.

raid5-1spare

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit showed that HD video playback was around 60 MB/s, which isn't too shabby. The other scores can be seen in the image above.

RAID 6 Benchmarking

3tb-nas-drives

RAID 6 Benchmarks:

For this page of benchmarks, we will setup the drives as a RAID 6 array with a 128KB stripe and no spare. RAID 6 extends RAID 5 by adding an additional parity block; thus it uses block-level striping with two parity blocks distributed across all member disks. You take a small performance hit for this, but it worth it for those using large capacity disks. 

ATTO Disk Benchmark

ATTO is one of the oldest hard drive benchmarks that is still used today. ATTO measures transfers across a specific volume length. It measures raw transfer rates for both reads and writes and places the data into graphs that you can easily interpret. The test was performed with the default runs of 0.5kb through 8192kb transfer sizes with the total length being 256mb.

raid6atto_550

The Thecus N5550 with the Western Digital Red 3TB drives in a RAID 6 array was able to hit a max of ~101MB/s read and ~118MB/s write.

CrystalDiskMark

CrystalDiskMark is a small HDD benchmark utility for your hard drive that enables you to rapidly measure sequential and random read/write speeds.

raid6cmd

With Crystal Disk Mark the sequential read and writes topped out at 64.9 MB/s read, and 106.8MB/s write. Remember the fastest you can go on a Gigabit LAN is 125MB/s, so these write speeds are fast!

Intel NAS Performance Toolkit Exerciser

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is a file system exerciser and analysis tool designed to enable performance comparisons between network attached storage (NAS) devices. Intel NASPT focuses on user level performance using real world workload traces gathered from typical digital home applications such as HD video playback and record, data backup and restore utilities, office productivity applications, video rendering/content creation and more. Intel NASPT reproduces the file system traffic observed in these traces onto whatever storage solution the user provides, records the system response, and reports a rich variety of performance information. The end result is readily comparable performance measurements that are useful to developers as well as intuitive and compelling to consumers. The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit is one of the only benchmarks that was designed from the ground up just to measure NAS performance. The benchmark tests 18 different test scenarios to give you a great overall idea of how the NAS performs.

raid6naspt_550_01
 

The Intel NAS Performance Toolkit showed that HD video playback was around 50 MB/s, which isn't too shabby. The other scores can be seen in the image above.

copyto_550

When copying files to the NAS we had very good results in real world tests. Here we used Teracopy to upload 500MB .exe over to the NAS and it completed in just 5 seconds at 92MB/s. 

movie

Moving a 720P HD movie that was 1.8GB in size over took just 18 seconds and completed at 96MB/s! Not bad for a RAID 6 array!

copyfrom_550

Pulling files back down from the NAS was a bit slower, but we still average right around 50MB/s for most file types. Here it took 10 seconds to download a ~500MB file form the NAS. It took 5.5 seconds to upload the same file to the NAS.

 

Power Use and Noise Levels

noise

The fan and hard drives sound are easily heard in a quiet room. The low whirr from the rear 92mm fan is the loudest part on this NAS. With the NAS turned off we found the ambient room noise to be 31.9dB. With the NAS turned on sitting at idle the noise level next to it jumped up to 37.4dB. If you plan on using one of these in a home office or some place that you want low-noise levels, then plan on upgrading the 3-pin 92mm rear fan. It is a simple upgrade that can be done for under $15 and just a few minutes of time. 

power-use

The NAS came diskless and was equipped for testing with five Western Digitial Red 3 TB WD30EFRX hard drives. Power consumption at the wall for the whole NAS measured between  39-43 Watts when drives were spun up and ready for use. 

Final Thoughts & Conclusions

thecus-n5550-box

The Thecus N5550 Diskless System NAS Server is available online right now for $439.00 shipped thanks to a holiday promotion. This is a very good price for an Intel Atom powered 5-bay NAS that has 2GB of memory! The QNAP TS-569L ($750) and Synology DS1512+ ($788) are competing 5-Bay devices with the same Intel Atom processor and 1GB of memory, but the cost way more. Thecus is certainly the value play when it comes to network storage these days, but keep in mind you still have to populate the diskless NAS with drives!

WD Red Hard Drive Models & Pricing:

If you went with five WD Red Hard Drives you are looking at $443 for 1TB drives, $575 for 2TB drives and $790 for 3TB drives. Yes, you'll be spending more on drives than the actual NAS! The setup that we benchmarked today used five WD Red 3TB drives, so the total cost of our NAS solution is $1228.50. Not inexpensive by any means, but it gave us 8TB of pretty safe network storage space! Thecus N5550 NAS WD Red Drives

When it comes to performance the Thecus N5550 did not disappoint. The Intel Atom D2700 processor running at 2.13Ghz and 2GB of DDR3 1333MHz memory felt snappy on our setup. In real world use you can expect file transfers to the N5550 come in at ~95MB/s for uploads and~ 50MB/s downloads as this is what we get with most file types on our RAID 6 array. Streaming multiple HD movies was also not a problem, which is great for large households as you don't want to be watching a Blu-Ray movie you have backed up only to have it start stuttering when someone else in another room starts to pull files down.

The ThecusOS user interface was found to be really easy to use and you can tell that Thecus has spent a ton of time updating their GUI. You can actually try out ThecusOS 5.0 online right here for yourself, so you don't have to blindly take our word for it. If you tried a Thecus NAS in the past and didn't like the GUI, you should really try the online demo! The Thecus N5550 has some pretty cool features like the ability to mount ISO images that we weren't able to do on older Thecus products.

At the end of the day the Thecus N5550 is an excellent 5-bay NAS and the price is right at $439.00 shipped. For that price, the Thecus N5550 is hard to pass up as the ability to transfer data about as fast as a Gigabyte Ethernet connection will allow is pretty amazing.

Legit Reviews Recommended Award

Legit Bottom Line: The Thecus N5550 is fast, easy to use and affordable. That is the perfect recipe for home and small business users that are looking for a reliable NAS solution!